Home > Reflections/Talks/Articles > The Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Philippines: Recent Developments and Trends

The Basic Ecclesial Communities in the Philippines:

Recent Developments and Trends

Fr. Amado L. Picardal, CSsR


What is the state of  the BECs in the Philippines? What are the recent trends and developments? This is the question that I often encounter after starting my work as executive secretary of the committee on BECs of the CBCP.

We don’t have the exact statistical quantitative and qualitative data about the BECs at the moment. This is what we will be doing this October as we hold the National Gathering of Diocesan BEC directors in Taytay, Rizal. The regional assemblies that will be held starting next year followed by a national assembly later will give us a more accurate data and assessment. What I will be presenting here is just a preliminary assessment which needs to be validated in due  time.

Before discussing the key trends and developments, let me present a brief historical overview.


Historical Overview

In the late 1960s, immediately after Vatican II, foreign missionaries in the frontier mission areas in Mindanao and Negros formed the first BECs. The Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC) which was first held in 1971 and since then meets every 3 years was instrumental in propagating these BECs all over Mindanao with the local clergy and lay pastoral workers continuing what the foreign missionaries started. Some dioceses and parishes in Visayas and Luzon would soon adopt the formation of BECs as their pastoral thrust. The first wave of BECs that emerged were formed under the martial law regime of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The military and some bishops suspected many BECs of  being influenced or infiltrated by the Left. Consequently, there were BECs that were harassed by the military and some of  their leaders and members arrested and even murdered. Many of those that were affected were communities organized by the BCC-CO (Basic Christian Community-Community Organizing) program which was suspected of supporting and promoting the ideological and political agenda of the NDF and the CPP.  There were bishops who would not allow the BECs to be formed in their dioceses. But some of the more progressive bishops continued to support the BECs, but they were a minority. The formation of BECs depended mostly on the initiative and support of the local parish priest with the aid of some groups/institution like the BCC-CO, BEC-Service Office, Redemptorist Mission Teams, DC team and Bukal ng Tipan.  Some of the BECs, to play safe, would limit their activities to prayer meeting and bible-sharing and tone down or abandon the social action/prophetic component.

After the fall of the Marcos regime and the restoration of democracy, it became easier to build up BECs and to engage in social action. There were BECs in San Fernando, Bukidnon that  successfully waged a campaign against logging that led to the imposition of a total log ban in the province by President Corazon Aquino in 1989. Other BECs in Zamboanga were involved in anti-logging, anti-mining and anti-dam campaigns. Around this period there were BECs in North Cotabato and Negros affected by the armed conflict between government forces and the New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas declared zones of peace. There were also some BECs that revived or initiated livelihood projects, cooperatives and sustainable agriculture.

In 1991, the second Plenary Council was held and the vigorous promotion and formation of BECs all over the Philippines was adopted as a pastoral priority. The plenary council came up with this decree:

Basic Ecclesial Communities under various names and forms – BCCs, small Christian communities, covenant communities – must be vigorously promoted for the full living of the Christian vocation in both urban and rural areas.” (Art 109)


The council directed the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to

“issue an official statement on BECs, on their nature and functions as recognized by the Church, making it clear that they are not simply another organization. This official statement of the CBCP shall be, among others things, for the proper orienting of priests and seminarians. Training for work with BECs shall be made part of seminary formation.” (Art 110)


Thus, after the plenary council the second wave of the emergence of BECs took place. As part of the implementation of the PCP II thrust, many dioceses in Visayas and Luzon started their BEC program while for others it was a matter of renewing their efforts. There has been a phenomenal growth of BECs in these regions since then. In Mindanao where the BECs first emerged and where they have become part of the structure of the diocese, many BEC needed to be revitalized due to stagnation that had set in or the weakening due to militarization.



Trends and Developments

Mainstreaming: Owning  of BEC as pastoral priority of most dioceses and the CBCP

The number of dioceses that have adopted the formation of BECs as a pastoral priority has increased through the years. In 2002, there were 51 dioceses that participated in the BEC national assembly in Cebu. In 2005, there were 65 dioceses that sent delegates to the BEC national assembly. In 2008, there were 67 participating dioceses out of a total of 85 dioceses. Although, attendance of diocesan delegates in National Assemblies cannot be used as an accurate gauge for determining whether the BECs are regarded as pastoral priority by these dioceses, this can be used as an indicator. A more accurate data is forthcoming. Whatever the case, formation of BECs have been adopted as part of the vision-mission and goal of many dioceses.

What is significant is that in most cases, the formation of  BECs is regarded as the pastoral thrust of the whole diocese rather than just the initiative of the parish priest or some external pastoral agency. In many dioceses, the various diocesan commissions (liturgy, catechetics, social action, youth, family & life) are geared towards the formation of BECs. The BECs are becoming the basic pastoral unit of the parish which is seen as a network of BECs. The rate of growth and expansion is not uniform. In many parishes and dioceses that have just started there are only pilot areas that are still to be replicated. In other dioceses, they are already part of the structure of the diocese and parishes.

The CBCP has been supportive in the promotion of BECs. The 2005 BEC National Assembly was the first CBCP-sponsored assembly. The proposal of the 2002 National Assembly for a CBCP national office had earlier been approved by the CBCP.  The Episcopal Committee on Basic Ecclesial Communities of the CBCP was finally set up in 2007. The setting up of this committee is an expression of the acceptance and support by the CBCP of the BECs as a pastoral priority. The chairmen of the major episcopal commissions (such as biblical apostolate, social action, liturgy, education and catechetics, family and life, youth, laity, and canon law) are members of the BEC committee. This expresses the view that all these commissions can contribute to the growth of BECs and that these areas are constitutive dimensions in the life of the BECs.

A More Unified and  Holistic Vision of BECs: Integration of Social Action with Evangelization & Liturgy

In the 1980s, it was fashionable to classify BECs into liturgical, development and liberational models. The BCC-CO program was known for promoting a more liberational/militant model of BECs and regarded other BEC models promoted by the MSPC and  BEC-Service Office as liturgical models – and hence more conservative and traditional. Those espousing the liberational model were suspected of having ideological agenda.

The PCP II Vision of a Renewed Church provided a more holistic vision for BECs:

our vision of the Church as communion, participation and mission, about the Church as priestly, prophetic and kingly people, and a Church of the poor, that is a renewed Church, is today finding expression in one ecclesial movement, that is the movement to foster Basic Ecclesial Communities” (PCP II 137).


PCP II further describes the BECs as:

“small communities of Christian usually of families   who gather around the Word of God & the Eucharist.These communities are united to their pastors but are ministered to regularly by lay leaders.The members know each other by name and share not only the Word of God and the Eucharist but also their concerns both material and spiritual. They have a strong sense of belongingness and responsibility for one another. (PCP II 138)


Usually emerging from the grassroots among poor farmers and workers,

BECs consciously strive to integrate their faith and their daily life.

They are guided and  encouraged by regular catechesis. Poverty and  their faith urge their members towards solidarity with one another, action for justice and towards a vibrant celebration of life in the liturgy.” (PCP II 139).”


PCP II further promoted the task of renewed integral evangelization which includes “renewed catechesis, renewed worship and renewed social apostolate.” The PCP II vision of BECs did away with the competing models and integrated the liturgical, developmental and liberational model.

Subsequently, the BCC-CO and the BEC-SO ideological tension and rivalry which heightened in the 1980s up to the mid-1990s  became passé. These programs/agencies ended by the beginning of the millennium.

Since the 1990s, the National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) has promoted the BEC-based social action program  The NASSA Country Program (BEC-based Integral Evangelization Program) which started in the early 2000s involved 30 dioceses, with 5 pilot parishes per diocese and 10 pilot BECs per parish. Various programs were introduced at the BEC level: sustainable agriculture, livelihood projects, peace advocacy, environmental protection, microfinance, community-based health program, skills training, good governance, etc. The impact of this BEC-based social action program has still to be assessed and its results replicated.

In a survey conducted before the 2008 BEC national assembly (with responses from 40 dioceses) this is the general picture that emerged:

93%   have initiated BEC-based programs that respond to the problem of poverty: e.g. IGP, livelihood projects, micro-finance, small-enterprise development, cooperatives, feeding program, etc.

51% Justice & Peace-Integrity of Creation Program

49% ecology, waste management, sustainable agriculture program

41% have BEC-based health program

39% Political Education

20% Skills/Capability Building Program

12% Sectoral Projects


These figures could have been heavily influenced by the NASSA country program which concentrated in pilot parishes/BECs. While this data does not give an accurate picture of how many BECs are actually engaged in these programs, it shows that there is a high percentage among the dioceses that have accepted a more holistic and integral vision of BECs. There could still be a big gap between this vision and the reality among many of the BECs.


Diversity of forms and shapes of BECs

Various shapes and forms of BECs  have emerged in the country. There are chapel-centered communities. These are communities with 30 to 200 families, mostly in the rural areas and also urban areas in Mindanao that made use of the barrio/barangay chapel structures and organizations. Most of the BEC gathering and activities are held in the chapel which is considered as the social space or center of the community.

There are also BECs which are chapel-centered but subdivided into neighborhood cells and family groupings (8-15 families per grouping). The BEC in the barangay or village is a network of neighborhood cells. The members of each cell gather in the homes during weekdays, while all the cells in a BEC gather in the chapel for their regular assembly and Eucharistic celebration (monthly or bi-monthly).

In the urban centers, there are neighborhood cells or family groupings without a chapel. These are found mostly in big cities. Most, if not all, of the activities are done in the homes of the members of the cells. The gathering of the wider community for assembly and the Eucharist is often done in public places – covered basketball court, side-streets, barangay hall or school-houses. There has been a tendency to regard the neighborhood cell consisting of 8-15 members as the BEC itself rather than a BEC-cell which is part of a wider community.

The Growth of BECs in Urban Areas

BECs first emerged mostly in rural impoverished areas of Mindanao and in Negros. There was a perception that they will only thrive in rural communities which are homogeneous by nature and where everyone knows one another. Many believed that it would be very difficult to form BECs in the cities, especially among the middle and upper-classes. With a rapid urban migration, this was indeed a cause for concern.

Yet over the years, many BECs have emerged in the urban areas – in Davao, Surigao, Cebu, Ormoc, Metro-Manila, Lingayen, Dagupan, Aparri and other major cities. There are even BECs that have been formed in upper-class subdivisions. This requires new ways and approaches of building BECs and new forms and structures – different from the methods used in rural areas. Their stories have yet to be told and the best practices have to be culled and disseminated.


Growth of Volunteerism among lay pastoral agents

In the past, the formation of BECs depended mostly on paid-full time pastoral workers. Many ordinary parishes could not afford a big number of full-time BEC practitioners. In recent times, many BEC parish formation teams have sprouted. These formation teams are composed mostly of part-time volunteers who are fully committed to assist in the formation of BECs. They have their own jobs and sources of income. Some of them are retired and receiving pensions. Some of them are members of lay organizations and movements. There are still a few paid, full-time pastoral workers but the majority are now volunteers (in some cases, one to two full-time workers and ten to twently part-time volunteers).This is generating a sense of missionary dynamism among lay people. This also emphasizes that forming BECs is not a full-time job. It is a mission which anyone can do even if he has other work or profession.


Incorporation of BECs in Priestly/Religious  Formation and Clergy Ongoing Formation

In many surveys, one of the blocks mentioned in the growth of BECs is the lack of support and initiative of the clergy. It was also recognized that BECs are vibrant where the clergy take an active role in its promotion.

In response to this concern, some seminaries and formation programs all over the Philippines have incorporated the BEC-thrust. The structures of some seminaries and houses of formation are patterned after the BEC-cells. They do not only talk about BECs but live it as a way of life among themselves. The BECs is also incorporated in various theology courses: e.g. Sacred Scriptures (esp. New Testament), Ecclesiology, Missiology, Ministry and Orders, Pastoral Leadership and Management, etc. This is also part of the pastoral formation program on weekends and summer vacation.  Seminarians are assigned to live and work in BECs. They learn the skills of evangelizing and organizing BECs.

Some female religious orders have also incorporated BECs in the formation program of their postulants, novices and junior sisters.

Several gathering among seminary administrators and religious formators have been held over the years to share their experience of integrating BECs in priestly/religious formation. In 2012, the Episcopal Commission on Seminaries will hold a nationwide assembly of seminary administrators and one of the talks will focus on BECs and how it affects the seminary formation.

Some dioceses are also integrating BEC formation for the newly-ordained deacons or priests. Some have also incorporated this in the ongoing formation program for the clergy. Seminars and retreats about Priestly Ministry and BECs have been given. This is in line with the awareness that a new way of being Church requires a new way of being priest – a renewed clergy for a renewed Church.



Concluding Remarks

These are the trends and developments that are happening regarding BECs in the Philippines. In spite of the pessimism of some who think that BECs are either dead or have failed to grow, these trends are indeed encouraging. They are the signs of hope. Like light, salt and leaven, BECs even in their smallness  are making a difference. They are growing slowly, accompanied by the Holy Spirit. They are “creative minorities” who are living as a genuine communities of disciples of Christ, proclaiming the good news and  witnessing to it, and transforming the Church and Philippine society. Like the kingdom of God, they are  “already but not yet” reality. They are dream that is in the process of becoming a reality.


28 Comments, RSS

  • Elizabeth Magturo

    says on:
    December 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    fr. Picx, when was this article published? i would like to cite some of the passages here. thank you.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Beth, this was published in the Impact Magazine October 2011

  • erlito_ebia

    says on:
    December 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Fr. Picx,

    Its nice to know that BECs are growing gradually in our country and it gives us the avenue to be more conscious of our responsibility as a Church… however my question is …is there any program at present to incorporate BEC to all parochial schools or Catholic schools so that at an early stage the young Filipino minds will learn and value the spirit of BEC? Do we have school-based BEC? I am interested to know this since I am a Religion Teacher who wants to suggest the incorporation of BEC in my class. Can you guide me on this matter…thank you

  • Sem. Dindo A. Catalo

    says on:
    January 13, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Dear Fr. Picx,
    i am a theology seminarian from the Diocese of Borongan and at the same time the president of Borongan Major SEminarian Organization (BORMASO). One of my priority objectives for our upcoming summer apostolate 2012, in cooperation of my vocation director, to come up with a one month activities that highlights BEC in our parishes. i know one month is not enough but at least as seminarians, formed to be future ministers in one of the parishes, we had an experience what BEC being lived and continually being formed. as of now i am planning to have 2 modules, one would focus on how to start and build up to a non-BEC barangays and the other to come up an activities with an existing barangay with BEC. in relation, i would like to solicit suggestions that in a way possible and realizable activities. thank you very much and in behalf of the community of seminarians from Borongan, our humble prayer for you and for your ministry. by the way Fr. Picx i am also a descendant of Picardal Clan.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      January 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Dindo,
      It is very important that even before your summer apostolate you must confer wit the parish priest and his staff and inquire how best to make use of your one month exposure in the parish. You need to find out beforehand from the parish priest the situation of the BECs in the parish and see what you can contribute to the ongoing task of forming and strengthening the BECs. There are various possibilities – conducting renewed-evangelization seminars, introducing new forms of bible-reflection/sharing, leadership formation seminars for leaders, etc. Whatever you do you will need the approval and support of the parish priest and you need to give him progress report. Always remember that the summer apostolate is both a time to contribute to the growth of BECs as well as an experience of living in BECs and learning from these communities what it means to live as disciples of Jesus in community. Even if you have very little to contribute to their growth, just being with them and experiencing their life is already valuable. It would be unrealistic to start BECs in barangays where they don’t yet exist unless you can be assured of a follow-up from the parish. Regards to our kapamilya in Oras

  • Richard Aliser

    says on:
    January 23, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Dear Fr. Picx,

    I’m Richard Aliser a former theology seminarian of Saint Mary’s Theologate in Ozamis City. I’m presently connected at Saint Joseph College of Sindangan, Inc.Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte. For now I’m teaching religious subjects in the College Department. I would like to ask your permission that I will use some of your presentations in BEC Program in teaching our students to understand what is BEC as our PAstoral Thrust of our Diocese.. Thank you and God bless

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      January 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Sure, Richard, you can use whatever you need as long as you acknowledge your sources.

  • zaldy alcantara

    says on:
    September 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    we are celebrating our 25th year anniversary of our BEC in Isabel, Leyte. Our experience in this project of the Lord is much of patient and then little by little people will fully understand how to be good as part of the Lord’s vineyard. Sometimes our urban brothers and sisters feel that they are not part of the church and neglected because the church is for athe rich people only. But because of this BEC they are now involved in the church activities as a whole in our parish. Thanks God and to the Holy Spirit who is coniually keeps on moving to each and everyone of us.

  • amancio jim yap

    says on:
    October 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

    good morning fr picx2,

    I am amancio jim yap, I was elected as the Chapel Coordinator of the Kawit Centro Chapel, Kawit Distict, Pagadian City last year and was recently appointed as the Parochial GSK Coordinator of San Pedro Parish, Pagadian City. we call our BEC here as GSK (Gagmay Simbahanong Katilingban) we want to avail of the modules of the BEC formation program so that we can fully understand its function, vision and mission. thanks and God bless!!

  • Maria Antonette Birco-Abeto

    says on:
    November 15, 2012 at 9:33 am

    i’m happy to chance upon this site. please call me tonette, i’m the BEC Coordinator of the Commission on BEC here at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Pasig from 2008-present..our BECs started, too, in the 70’s as BCCs during the time of the Belgian priests. When Msgr. E.Sunga became our parish priest he really worked hard to build the BEC in our parish. It was during the time of Msgr. Manny Gabriel when our BECs flourished. Higher theology was given and we really went down to the 10 subparishes. Mapalad kami dito sa ICC dahil ang mga naging parish priests at kasalukuyang parish priest namin na si Fr. Orly Cantillon ay avid supporters ng BEC.

    i hope someday we can be invited to join some GAs or seminars of the CBCP BEC so we can learn more and at the same time share our experiences, too. Maraming salamat po and continue to be a blessing to our BECs.

  • willard

    says on:
    January 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Nice work Fr. Picx. Congratulations po.
    I have sent already an email to you thru the cbcp office. I am working on my dissertation and I would appreciate to get more details on those BECs that engaged into cooperatives, livelihood projects etc. I have to study the results in order to come up with an initial model for a BEC-based cooperative program. Thank you

  • michelle sese

    says on:
    January 18, 2013 at 4:29 am

    What are the different names of BEC? Thank u.


      says on:
      August 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm


  • chris

    says on:
    September 13, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Dear Fr. Picx,

    I just want to ask if do you have a bible sharing guide for BEC? Thanks and God bless.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      September 15, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Chris, the BEC bible contains several methods for bible-sharing/Gospel sharing. I also have a powerpoint presentation of the the Word of God and BECs which mentions various methods of sharing the Word. If by bible-sharing guide you mean a reflections on the readings and themes of the scriptural texts, we don’t have any availabe in English.

  • fr vincent mynem c sagandoy

    says on:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Dear Fr. Picx,

    I am fr Vincent MC Sagandoy of Bontoc-Lagawe. I am presently studying for the doctoral in Canon Law here at KULeuven-Belgium.
    May I am still working on BEC for my dissertation especially on the possibility of its juridic personality according to the Code of Canon Law. At this point may I know if you can provide me some materials regarding the CLSP and/or CBCP-BEC Secretariate paper work on any statutes as regard the BEC for the CBCP’s approval. In this way, it will give me a very good example in bringing out the possibility of BEC as a juridic person in the organizational structure of the Church.
    on another note may I ask favor from you if I could be in close contact with your office through my email. Thank You Very Much po.
    In Opus Ministerii…

    Fr. Saps

  • Guilbert Mantala

    says on:
    January 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Dear Fr. Picx,

    I am Guilbert Mantala, a faculty member of St. Paul University Surigao. Your article is very helpful and noteworthy. I would like to know if there is already an existing school-based BEC? By the way, I am writing a qualitative research on the BEC experience of our school since 1997. Could you provide me with data and references related to BEC? Thanks and God bless.



    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      January 16, 2014 at 11:09 am

      Hi Guilbert,

      There are many Catholic schools in the Philippines that are promoting BECs within the campus and classroom. The students are organized into cells and they gather regularly to reflect and share the Word of God, conduct para-liturgical celebration and develop close bond of friendship among them. They regard themselves as “BECs.” But strictly speaking, they are simply bible-sharing groups that make use of BEC methods and dynamics. BECs by nature are stable local communities at the grassroots-level (neighborhood, sitio, barangay), they integral part of the parish and are ministered to and under the authority of the parish priest, although they are led by lay leaders. They are actively involved in evangelization, catechesis, liturgy, social apostolate. Schools are not really local communities, they are institutions. That is why the so-called BEC cells in schools are “quasi-BECs.”

  • Renz Falsario

    says on:
    January 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    _hi father.. I am a student of Saint Louis University, Baguio City. thanks po sa rich infos about the BEC here in the Philippines. it could surely help me a lot for our report in school regarding the trends and developments of the BEC here in our country.

  • Loy Arueza

    says on:
    January 30, 2014 at 10:40 am

    hello father!!! i am DSAC staff in the Diocese of Iba. I was inspired by your article regarding BEC… it give more knowledge to me about our thrust Building BEC.. Could i ask a favor to you father, if their are seminar or gathering about BEC please invite our diocese or DSAC. so we can participate.

    Thank you po. Loy

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      February 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Hi Loy, the Northern Luzon BEC Exchange will be held in Dagupan this February 27 – March 1, 2014. If Iba is part of the Northern Luzon Pastoral Conference, I’m sure your diocese must have already been invited. The archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan is the host.

  • joy godinez

    says on:
    April 19, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    hi father i am theology student from Stratford School in Mindanao i just want to ask your permission that i will use some of your ideas for my thesis writing ..thank you so much..

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      May 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Joy, you have my permission to you use whatever in our website for your thesis writing. good luck on your thesis and please share with us the fruits of your research.

  • Breitling Watches

    says on:
    June 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your
    next post thank you once again.

  • Ron K.

    says on:
    June 17, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for this most informative essay.

    Is there any experience to report of regarding interfaith dynamics? Specifically:
    – Are there any examples of BECs providing leadership in strengthening relationships/trust with groups from other religious traditions?
    – The model of: a) responsiveness to local needs b) led by a group local lay leaders c) with loose connections to the larger regional/national institutions d) guided by enduring values of wholeness is one widely needed in our world. Has there been any experiences of sharing this basic model with people of other religions, in a modality of “sharing best practices”?

    One could imagine several religious traditions in a community, each having their own separate BEC-like structure, and the BECs having strong, respectful, supportive relationships with each other to work together on things that require the whole community to support.

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      June 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      hi Ron, there are cases of dioceses and parishes in Mindanao that promote a dialogue of life and faith between BECs and local Muslim communities. This is happening in the archdiocese of Cotabato and prelature of Marawi, and in Jolo. These are areas where there are significant numbers of Muslims and in most cases the Catholics are even a minority. The ongoing interfaith dialogue started among the Bishops and the Ulama in Mindanao and the sentiment emerged that this dialogue should be carried out at the grassroots community level.

  • Cleb Calimutan

    says on:
    June 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Fr. Good day I’m cleb Religious studies instructor at ateneo de Cagayan and some of the blind people ask me to assist them to have a BEC for the blind is it possible to connect them to the diocese and be part of the BEC program thank you

    • fatherpicx

      says on:
      June 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Hi Cleb, BECs are by definition communities of Catholic Christians, usually of families, at the neighborhood and villages within the parish. They are geographical and territorial in character and under the supervision and authority of the parish priest. Blind people can come together as a group to pray and reflect on the Word of God, and help one another. They can use BEC technology (bible-sharing) and adopt the BEC culture or way of life. They can link up with the parish or the diocese. But they are not BECs but rather an association of lay faithful. This is the same case as a group of students or teachers in the school who use BEC technology and adopt the BEC culture.

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